I have written similar posts about this topic in previous posts dating back some 6 to 7 years ago. Just about every school that looks to go down the 1:1 iPad path, almost always develops a set application ‘list’ that students and families are to asked to have added to their child’s device. This post is no different from exactly that.
As a teacher who has been involved in coordinating and leading multiple 1:1 programs, and primarily focused around the iPad device, it has been an interesting journey to see how schools and even my own have coordinated this approach of students needing particular applications ‘to support their learning’.
I think… that the need for schools to move down this path is to ensure consistency amongst the devices that are coming in with the students. That in itself is a contradiction to a 1:1 program, and a BYOD one at that, in which a full normalisation of the technology and its use is geared towards being ” more personalised”.
Try a google search for ‘school 1:1 iPad program app list’, or something along those lines, and you’ll quickly see that all educational settings have put time and effort in to developing an application list to compliment their 1:1 iPad program.
I will say that I believe there is nothing at all wrong with this picture. I myself, and hence this post, have created such lists numerous times and spent hours upon hours doing so as it can be a tedious task.
Having been part of the Victorian Department of Educations iPads for Learning Trial in 2010/2011, what was perhaps one of the first ever educational application lists of it’s time, was very extensive and lengthy! There were 53 applications in all and through looking at this list I am thinking that of those 53, i would only ever use 6 in today’s classroom. I have attached the original list below.
In looking through what I have found that other settings have created, and in having created other lists in the past as I have mentioned, I have certainly seen a transformation within these lists. Firstly, the amount of applications listed. The numbers continue to fall as to what students are ‘expected’ to have installed on their devices. This I hope is due to schools realising the increased importance of student choice and voice in this space and not because there has been an increased confusion over what to list.
Secondly, and more importantly, the type of applications have certainly changed from being singled minded, one function type applications to those which are powerful in their ability to foster creativity and complete multiple tasks for multiple purposes.
It is a good thing. A great thing in fact.
Now I do love my iPad. I also love the impact that technology can have on students and their learning. I more so love the HOW factor in which the technology can leverage and refine how learning and teaching takes place. The type of applications students have access too certainly cater for this.
I have attached my schools first 1:1 iPad application lists below and would be keen to hear your thoughts. What has worked well for you, what has not? And what am I missing. The new Apple Clips app for example being one! In all of my iPad experience, I am almost certain this application list is not perfect. I am not sure there is one. Of that I am certain.
I will end by saying that the real power in any 1:1 program using any device and OS, is where students lead the use and selection of what works best for them, and appeals to their learning the most.